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Russian Bitcoin Mining is Under Review in the Face of Conflict with Ukraine. Large ETH Pool Cancels Service To Russia

With the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, many observers are curious about the large quantity of hashrate located in Russia, as the region reportedly controls the third-largest sum of SHA256 hashpower worldwide. Furthermore, on February 24, the ethereum mining operation Flexpool announced it has halted services to Russia entirely. Flexpool informed its customers that it had apologized to Russian miners. However, many of you don’t support the war.

Russia Faces a Wave of Economic Sanctions, SWIFT Still Accessible

All eyes are on Russia-Ukraine war this week. After Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, many countries have started to impose or threaten economic sanctions. The Russian ruble has been feeling the wrath of volatile markets, Russia’s stock market shuddered and UBS cut Russia’s bond market down to zero.

The European Union handed down economic sanctions against Russia, and U.S. president Joe Biden revealed America would sanction the country as well. Despite the U.K. begging the SWIFT payment network to ban Russia, the country is still allowed to leverage the financial system. Erik Voorhees, a crypto advocate and Shapeshift founder, made fun of Russia’s inability to transact with SWIFT.

“Apparently Russia’s actions are so egregious that the West has decided to permit Russia to continue using the SWIFT Network,” Voorhees tweeted.

Russia Controls a Significant Part of Hashrate. Putin Claims Region Has “Competitive Advantages”, Compass Mining Says Team’s Operators Are ‘Isolated from Geopolitical Unrest ‘

Cryptocurrency advocates are also discussing Russia’s hashpower, as Russia reportedly has the third-largest amount of hashrate in the world. That statistic stems from the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index (CBECI) data that was published in July. Because electricity is cheap, a lot of mining operations extract cryptocurrencies from Russia. For instance, Bitcluster has operated in Russia since 2017 with over 20,000 mining devices and it offers hosting at $0. 062 per kilowatt-hour (kWh).

A mining operation called Vekus leverages the Russian oil drilling subsidiary Gazpromneft in order to mine bitcoin. At the end of last month, Russian president Vladimir Putin explained that Russia has “competitive advantages” when it comes to cryptocurrency mining. The mining operation Compass Mining also hosts bitcoin miners in the Siberian region. On Thursday, Whit Gibbs from Compass Mining explained on Twitter that the company’s facilities in Siberia were “well isolated from any geopolitical unrest.” Gibbs added:

Compass has confirmed with our partners that all miners are safe and will continue running as normal.

The media is already talking about Russia leveraging cryptocurrencies and crypto asset mining to avoid sanctions. According to Elliptic, Iran used bitcoin mining to circumvent economic sanctions. Last week, the Biden administration told semiconductor manufacturers that they should “diversify their supply chain” and at the same time, the California-based technology company Intel announced the launch of bitcoin mining chips.

All Russian IPs

Banished from Large Ethereum Mining Pool

Amid the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, Bitcoin’s hashrate has dropped a hair since reaching an all-time high on February 15, 2022. On that day, six-month charts show the hashrate tapped 249. 75 exahash per second (EH/s) and today it is down 26% since that high, at 182 EH/s. While bitcoin miners seem to be unaffected by the situation in Ukraine, on Thursday the ethereum mining operation Flexpool announced it will be cutting off Russian ethereum miners. Flexpool is currently the fifth-largest ethereum miner in terms of ETH hashrate.

” While there are no options, it would be wrong not to profit from it or finance it indirectly. Flexpool announced that they would be cancelling service to all Russian IPs, and will pay any outstanding balances. We are sorry to our Russian miners, many of you don’t support the war. Your nation is supported by you. Russia can’t function without its people. We can only affect this war if we reduce the economic power of its citizens. We appreciate your loyalty and hope that you will understand that this is not an easy decision .”

What do you think about the conflict in Ukraine and the possibility of Russia avoiding sanctions with cryptocurrencies? What are your thoughts on the issue of Russian crypto miners? Comment below to let us know your thoughts on this topic.

Jamie Redman

Jamie Redman, the News Lead at Bitcoin.com News, is a Florida-based financial journalist. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. Redman is passionate about Bitcoin, open-source codes, and decentralized applications. Since September 2015, Redman has written more than 5,000 articles for Bitcoin.com News about the disruptive protocols emerging today.

Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not intended to be a solicitation or offer to buy or sell any products or services. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. The author and the company are not responsible for any loss or damage resulting from or in connection to the content, goods, or services discussed in this article.

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